Revisiting 'The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House'

In this week’s post we revisit our online event The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House: Abolitionist Feminist Futures, a panel discussion with Gail Lewis, Miss Major, Zoé Samudzi and Hortense Spillers, with Akwugo Emejulu in the chair. 

This event, held on 3 August 2020, was the first in Revolution is not a one-time event | WE SEE THE HORIZON: ABOLITION NOW! organised by Che Gossett, Lola Olufemi and Sarah Shin in collaboration with Arika and hosted by Silver Press. You can find all recordings on our blog – the audio transcript is available here, and the video recordings of the event series are here.

“What the world will become already exists in fragments and pieces, experiments and possibilities,” says Ruth Wilson Gilmore. In conversation with Black feminist forebears, such as Audre Lorde, abolitionist scholars and activists Gail Lewis, Miss Major, Zoé Samudzi and Hortense Spillers, chaired by Akwugo Emejulu; this recorded discussion chronicles an exploration of how we might dismantle the master’s house and work towards the construction of abolitionist futures in the present.

Lorde noted in 1984 that hegemonic, stratified forms of feminism can also constitute the master’s house. How can fugitive forms of organising and thinking continue to confront white feminism, racial capitalism, the violent gender binary and the carceral state? From Black Trans organising for post-incarceration re-entry services and against criminalisation, to Black feminist scholarship and psychoanalysis, to Black radical imaginations and political formations, the panel asked: What new tools and instruments can we fashion to help us dismantle the master’s house and build architectures of freedom?


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